GRE’s request denied
By Suzanne Werre, BHG News Service
There will be no oil field waste dumpsite in McLean County – at least for now. The McLean County commissioners on Tuesday denied Great River Energy’s application to upgrade its existing Section 26 landfill near Underwood to accept oil field waste, ending a months-long debate over the polarizing issue. The current landfill is approved until 2016 as a disposal site for fly ash, but is no longer needed for that as fly ash has become a marketable product for construction. GRE recently put forth a request to the McLean County Planning and Zoning Board to revise the current pit to make oil field waste cuttings acceptable at the site. The planning and zoning board voted to not make a recommendation to the county commission in favor of or opposing the request, leaving the decision solely on the three county commissioners’ shoulders. Even after making amendments to the request including limiting the hours of operation and maximizing the number of picocuries of radiation that would be allowed, the permit revision request was denied. In making the motion to deny GRE’s request, commissioner Pam Link said her decision was based on the fact that the Bakken oil field is still developing and there are still a lot of questions.